Connect 2017

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A lot of changes this year at Connect, my first time as an IBM Champion, a complete new location in a complete different state, California, and a different city, San Francisco.

This year the venue was the Moscone West Center

For me personally, the venue was not as good as in the past. You didn’t have the possibility to run into someone, grab a seat and have a conversation. Last year we had the possibility to go out in a kind of a garden, now we were in the centre of the city.

When everybody is staying in several different hotels, it’s much more difficult to meet up as when everybody is in the same hotel and having a drink in the hotel’s bar 🙂

But enough about that, part of the above, I had some nice conversations and meetings with interesting people !

I attended a lot of interesting sessions and noticed that IBM is changing its mindset and it is about time that we kick some ass and battle against Microsoft !

Let’s talk first about Domino.

For all of you that think that there is no future anymore for your Domino applications that are present in your company for years…sit back and read further on.

Do you know any other platform that comes out of the box with the following features ?

  • Security
  • Replication
  • Clustering
  • Encryption
  • Ability to go offline
  • Open to other platforms
  • Ability to develop and customize

IBM will enhance its current API framework (Mail, Calendar, Freebusy, Data) to extend capabilities and enable the use of modern application development tools (ex. Swagger)

The additional REST services that will be added to expose more powerful capabilities are

  • Directory Service: browse or search a directory
  • Contacts Service: manage personal contacts in your mailfile
  • Mail Search Service: search your mailfile
  • Subscription Service: poll for changes or register for push in an application
  • Management Service: register users and manage users & groups

Thanks to the openNTF community there is a project available, SmartNSF, that allows access to your Domino applications via REST APIs. It’s available as an extension for your Domino Server and Designer.

For customers that are defining a path for their Domino applications, it is interesting to know that in Q2 2017, Panagenda’s Application Insights will be released.

Application Insights will be free of charge for customers under S&S and will allow you to analyse the 50 most used applications based on

  • Application usage
  • Application complexity
  • Application code

If you have more than 50 applications, then you can by an extra license.

On Wednesday, there was Pink Wednesday. IBM Connections Pink is about a new revolutionary product. Pink is a journey, not a destination.

Jason Gary stated the following “We are not going to build Software for You, we gonna build Software WITH you”.

This means that Pink will be based on open standards and you will have the ability to customize as much as you want without having to lose your work thanks to the new Muse Proxy.

With Pink you will have the choice where you want to store your data, you can have for example all of your files in the cloud and the profiles on premise. The different applications will run in Docker containers, this will allow you to install updates of the different components individually without disturbing another component.

Recently there was a OpenMic WebCast about Connections Pink, you can find all info in here

Gradually we will see the impact of Pink crawling into Connections 6 as new features:

  • Orient Me: the homepage that knows you
  • Modern Communities: allows to modernize the look & feel and to copy the design as a template to create a new community
  • OnBoarding experience: a guided tour that allows new users to get started and get involved much easier through suggested lists of users and communities

IBM Watson Workspace was present everywhere at IBM Connect, there is a tight integration between Watson Workspace and the rest of the Collaboration Stack. During OGS I saw interactions between IBM Verse and Watson Workspace , where you can share a received email in a space so that the ones where you work with in the space are notified and you can start discussing or even start working on a shared document that you get from your Connections platform…

The integration of bots in spaces allows to have nice integrations and acces to all sorts of data coming for instance from your CRM application.

To wrap up I also want to mention that they showed something brand new that is still growing in the labs, IBM Livegrid. Livegrid is the new IBM Application Development platform for IBM Connections. It promises to be something really cool, they showed us a demo where a spreadsheet upload was transformed in a nice looking application in just a few clicks !

So, as you can see, a lot is going on and lot is coming in 2017. Open your eyes and ears in the coming months and enjoy this rollercoaster trip together with us.

Project Toscana named IBM Workspace

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Last year at IBM Connect, they announced a new revolutionary project, called Project Toscana. Now, a few months later at World of Watson they announced the progress they made in the project and since it is now in a closed pilot phase, they renamed it to IBM Watson Workspace as the official brand name of the product.

IBM Watson Workspace is an environment where you can create spaces, within a space you can invite team members and start having conversations around a certain topic/project.
The cool thing about those spaces is that conversations can continue when you leave. When you come back in, you can pick up the conversations where you left off.
You can work on files and other content. Share files in a space, paste images or animated gifs.
Recently they’ve added the “Launch moments” feature into spaces. This feature allows you summarize the conversations in condensed moments so that you can easily have an overview of the ongoing discussions during the period you left off.

watson-workspace

Now, why has it Watson in it’s name ? Well, IBM Watson Workspace is an application built on top of a new platform, IBM Watson Work Services. This platform offers the possibility to use cognitive API’s and cognitive services that understand conversations.

With its cognitive features and the ability to interact with a bunch of other apps, you can work more easily and work the way you want.
There are a lot of integrations with apps possible but you can extend this by integrating your own developed apps.
This platform allows you to create bots, webhooks,….written in the language of your preference, whether it is Node.js, Python or Javascript.

watson-work-services

Interested to know more about this new product ? Go and have a look at http://workspace.ibm.com and look at the Help & Forums link you find at the right side.

Are you interested to know more about the integration of apps or about the development of apps, then you can go to the Developer section of Watson Work Services at http://developer.watsonwork.ibm.com

There are already a set of examples available to download and to reuse so that you can integrate them into your own spaces and play around with them. Hereby an overview

http://github.com/watsonwork
http://github.com/van-ibm
http://github.com/opencode4workspace

Interested to know how you can start developing and integrating the apps into your workspace, go and have a look at this replay https://ibm.ent.box.com/s/sxe0cld7ciysc020nb4sely01be4d4bk where the process is very well explained.

Evolution of Cisco in IBM Products

It’s been a while now that IBM and Cisco announced their partnership under the theme “Partnering to Redefine Work”.

In the meantime, messages have been passed and some online meetings were held in WebEX to get used to the products.

The message here is that, you as a customer, will have the choice to integrate Jabber and WebEX in your IBM Connections Cloud environment or go further with IBM Sametime chat and meetings.

As of December 2016, some of the first integrations of the Cisco Products will be available

  • One click to get from Connections Cloud to WebEx dashboard
  • Add a WebEx meeting as a default meeting in my IBM Verse calendar invites
  • Easily join a WebEx meeting from Verse
  • Join a Jabber chat from Connections Cloud or Verse Navigation bar, or the Connections Cloud Business Card
  • Share a Connections Files Cloud document from a WebEx mobile meeting

Here a screenshot of Jabber chat in IBM Connections

jabber-connections

Share a Connections Cloud file from WebEX Mobile

share-webex-mobile

 

Engage 2017 – A Room with a Zoo

During the latest Engage event, October 27th, we were happily surprised at the end with the announcement of the venue of the next major event that will take place the 8th and 9th May 2017.

The event will take place in the completely renovated Elisabeth Center in Antwerp, next to the zoo and the Central Station.

It’s a brilliant location, easily reachable from anywhere and there are a lot of hotels in the neighbourhood.

It promises to be an awesome event with sessions around the following topics:

Business & Strategy – Development – Administration & Deployment – Emerging Technologies – Big Data & Analytics.

 

More information about the venue, the event itself and the registration form, can be found at the site http://engage.ug/

If you missed the last Engage event, then you still have the possibility to view the U-Stream recording that was made during the session.

IMSMO ? IBM mail support for MS Outlook aka Outlook native access to a Domino Server

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s IBM’s vision to provide an open Client strategy, one of those clients is certainly MS Outlook.

open-client

A lot of the customers are moving to O365 because they like the Outlook client, unfortunately they don’t think about the effort to migrate and not to mention the financial effort.

In a lot of cases I’m wondering if the juice is worth the effort of squeezing   🙂 They think by moving away they will save money, but with all struggles they encounter during the project, it results in more money being spent or wasted then being saved.

IBM mail support for MS Outlook helps IBM Notes/Domino customers create more engaged employees, avoid rip-and-replace costs and preserves value of existing IT, by allowing users to decide which email client works best for them, Outlook or Notes and this against their existing, powerful and reliable Domino Server.

Who’s entitled to use IMSMO ?

This is a rather simple question, every customer who has valid Domino CAL’s or Collaboration Express licenses.Dual Entitlement customers and Connections Cloud S1 or SmartCloud Notes customers have also the right to connect with MS Outlook to a Domino Server.

Supported versions of Outlook are 2010, 2013 and 2016. Currently there is only support for the Windows versions but Outlook for Mac and Apple Mail are under investigation.

The most current version is IMSMO 2.0 Fix Pack 2, you can find the information here:

https://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21989448

What are the capabilities of the client ?

Outlook capabilities that are available in an Outlook/Exchange world are also possible in an Outlook/Domino world. Hereby a summary of the capabilities:

Mail Calendar Client-wide
–  Compose

–  Send/Receive

–  Draft sync

–  Quota indication

–  Summary Sync

–  Folder support

– Notes encryption

– Free/busy lookup

– Room finder

–  Search

–  Automatic client updates

–  Automatic Send/Receive on network connection

–  Offline support

–  OoO Support

If you install IMSMO on premise, you need to think about the following guidelines before you get started with the installation:

  • Domino 9.0.1 or higher and ID Vault are required
  • Outlook users must have a replica on the IMSMO servers or you can install IMSMO on the mail server in a small deployment
  • You can’t mix Notes Traveler and IMSMO on the same Domino Server
  • Use DB2 to store the sync data or when you want to provide HA, in a small environment you can use the internal derby database
  • Use a proper SSL Certificate instead of self-signed one

As you can see on this slide, IBM decided to use SyncML instead of Exchange ActiveSync because it gives more control over the connection and functionality.

imsmo-diagram

Here you can find some extra IMSMO slides

http://www.slideshare.net/sreeJk/open-mic-imsmo-for-scn-24th-aug-2016

If you want to know more about the administration, check this guide

 

ICON UK 2016 – A small review

Last week I was at ICON UK 2016, it was again an amazing event and I had the opportunity to meet some new people.

During the opening session, Uffe Sorensen and Barry Rosen presented the roadmap for the upcoming 12 to 18 months.

They had lots of interesting stuff to tell and also shared the next 2 roadmaps with us

 

The most interesting part of those events is having the possibility to chat with IBM in an informal way. They listen and give feedback internally to IBM so that they know what’s happening in the community.

For those who attended my session or those who didn’t make it to my session, you can download the slides here: traveler-uk.

The organisation of ICON UK deserves a big round of applause for a well organised event ! We had a chance to see London by night during a sightseeing tour on the Thames. We even had an execellent firework on the Thames to conclude our evening…..or was this not intended only for us 🙂

 

Also this year, the organisation wanted to help a charity organisation. This year, 4000£ has been raised for Whizz-Kidz

It’s amazing what you can do when a community shows his heart and collects some money for charity.

 

Again, well done and see you next year !

Future of Notes/Domino

Hello, it’s a long time that I did an update on my blog but with Q4 knocking on the frontdoor, I thought it is a good time to send out some information.

I get a lot of questions about the future of Notes/Domino, is there any new version coming up ? Is Verse the new client ? Do we need to go to the cloud ? What about the competition ? Is O365 better ?

During a recent roundtable with IBM and other business partners, I noticed that I’m not the only one getting those questions and remarks. This means that IBM didn’t communicate well to their customers about where they are going with the products.

Some interesting stuff has been discussed during the roundtable that I’m more than happy to share with you.

First of all, we received an answer that the following technote has been published on the 13th of september. In this technote IBM communicated that they continue to support Notes/Domino 9 till at LEAST 2021.

Does this mean that afterwards support will stop ? No, it is a message that they still invest in the product and keep on putting in new features.

They will not deliver a new major version but you will get updates and new features in the format of ” feature packs “, this is a more agile way of introducing new stuff into the product.

As a result of the above, you will need to have an active entitlement to continue to download those feature packs.

Don’t interpret this as a dead end, everybody is doing this like Windows 10 will be the last version of their OS, you will get updates en new features in it but it will last as Windows 10.

On the 18th of november they will release IBM Verse on premise, this means that you will be able to use an IBM Verse client to connect to your on premise Domino Server.

The installation of Verse on premise will be as simple as unzip a zip file on your Domino Server.

Make sure that your IBM Connections Files & Profiles is on Release 5.5.CR1 to get all social features in your IBM Verse client.

What about the Domino applications ? If we shift to a #newwaytowork where everything is browser-based, we need to have a solution for the Domino applications.

Customers who migrate to O365 get the answer from the competition to recreate them in another technology.

In most cases this is a big investment, just because they invested in the past in the development of Domino applications.

xPages can be a low cost answer  so that you can modernize the applications and bring them to the browser.

The ICAA or IBM Client Application Access can be an alternative if you don’t care about mobile/browser access to your Domino applications. It can be nicely integrated in Verse or even Outlook when you are forced to migrate to O365.

More news on what to do with your Domino applications will be communicated in december where they will announce ” App Modernization ” tool. When we may expect this communication is not clear but as soon as I know more, I’ll post it on my blog.

SugarCRM Taps IBM Cloud for Enhanced Security, Privacy and Control

sugar-ibmSugarCRM, a CRM solution that offers customers the choice of installing on premise or in the Cloud, has chosen IBM’s Cloud environment to host their software to be able to offer their SaaS model.

As you can read in this article, they’ve chosen IBM’s Cloud because of the possibility to choose a bare metal server and because of the fact that you can clearly see in which datacentre your data is running. IBM is unique in the world to offer those abilities and for many customers it is crucial to have those possibilities.

More about this can be read in this article

Engage 2016

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Last week we had, again, an amazing Engage event. This time the venue was the Evoluon building in Eindhoven. A former science museum that now can be used for events like Engage.

There was a real good atmosphere present and nice to see a lot of familiar faces back since Connect 2016.

The event started with some keynote sessions of outstanding IBM speakers. The first keynote was done by Inhi Cho Suh, the new General Manager of IBM Collaboration Solutions. She revealed that we will have a Connect2017 from the 19th till the 22nd february in the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Inhi was the whole day present at the event and there were possibilities to discuss with her during several roundtables.

With over 60 sessions and over 400 attendees, Theo did again an amazing job and got suprised by the raffle we offered to him and his lovely wife Hilde.

I had a session about IBM Traveler on the first day, the rooms was fully packed with around 40 attendees and we had a lot of interaction, which makes it always interesting when you have a session.

You can download the slides here engage-ADM08

See you at the next Engage in 2017